Jacob Leisler Papers Project

The Jacob Leisler Papers Project contains over 4,000 document photocopies, original manuscripts, family genealogical materials, microfilms, rare books, prints, maps, and other visual materials written in Dutch, German, French, English, and Latin relating to New York merchant and rebel governor Jacob Leisler (1640-1691) and six generations of the Leisler family from 1550 to 1800. While the project’s collection concentrates on Jacob Leisler and his role in the Atlantic World from 1660-1691, with special emphasis on his 1689-1691 administration of New York, the collection is rapidly expanding to become a major repository of late-seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century New York and Atlantic World materials. These include court records, political writings, and administrative papers from Leisler’s 1689-1691 New York government, as well as correspondence and trade documnts. In addition, the collection hosts pamphlets, books, biographies, plays, and assorted visual materials created during the past three centuries about Jacob Leisler, the 1689 New York rebellion, and Leisler’s immediate family.

The Jacob Leisler Papers Project also contains the correspondence of Leisler’s grandfather Dr. Jacob Leisler (1569-1618), chief councilor to the Counts of Oettingen and civil prosecutor for Prince Christian of Anhalt; of Leisler’s father, the Reverend Jacob Victorian Leisler (1606-1653), Frankfurt-am-Main French Reformed minister; of Leisler’s brothers Johann Heinrich Leisler (1642-1694), colonel of French King Louis XIV’s German infantry, and Frantz Leisler (1644-1712) and Johann Adam Leisler (1651-1704), Basel bankers and manufacturers, and of Leisler’s brother-in-law Abraham Seiss, cameral secretary to Prussian King Frederick III. In addition, the project holds papers of Leisler’s sons-in-law Abraham Gouverneur, Robert Walter, Joachim Staats, Barent Rynders, Jacob Milborne, and Thomas Lewis, and materials pertaining to the related Bayard, Bogardus, Van Brugh, Van Cortlandt, Cuyler, Kierstede, Loockermans, Milborne, Provoost, Richards, Schaats, Schuyler, Vaughton, and Wendell families.

The Jacob Leisler Papers Project is creating a unified archival collection of Leisler family materials to be made available to scholars, students, and the interested public. Selected documents from the collection are being prepared for publication.